This week’s “Victim of Silly Questions” is some layabout calling himself Ed James. The endlessly prolific author writes crime-fiction novels across multiple series. His Scott Cullen series follows the career of a young Edinburgh Detective investigating crimes from the bottom rung of the career ladder he’s desperate to climb. The spin-off Craig Hunter series focuses on a cop and overcoming his PTSD from his time in the army. Putting Dundee on the tartan noir map, the DS Vicky Dodds books star a driven female detective struggling to combine her complex home life with a heavy caseload. Set four hundred miles south on the gritty streets of East London, his DI Fenchurch series features a detective with little to lose and a daughter to find. Formerly an IT project manager, Ed began writing on planes, trains and automobiles to fill his weekly commute to London. He now writes full-time and lives in the Scottish Borders, with his girlfriend and a menagerie of rescued animals.
Let’s hear it, Edwin…
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Don’t be daft. I’ll never grow up.
Do you prefer buttons or zips?
Zips, but I seem to be having issues remembering to do them up after a visit to the little boys’ room. Lockdown doesn’t get much worse than that.
What’s your secret party piece?
Singing. Very loudly. I mean VERY VERY LOUDLY. And Tom Jones or Hall & Oates. Or Climie Fisher.
Are you any good at potato sculptures?
Does mash count? Or does using a spudgun?
What’s the last book you read?
For once I can answer this with something that’s hot and celebrated, rather than a book about searching for King Arthur etc. Blacktop Wasteland by SA Cosby, which was dark and twisted. Really cinematic. Loved it.
Do you pair your socks?
Of course. I’m not an animal. But mostly they sit in the washing basket.
What’s your favourite joke?
What’s blue and smalls like red paint?
Would you rather give up washing, smiling or reading?
I’m a smelly bastard, a grumpy git and struggle to read much fiction. But I need to read for my job, so… I’ll give up smiling, which doesn’t feel too onerous.
Would you rather have no forks or no plates?
Plates. Forks can be used to eat from the packet/tub/baking tray/etc, but you can get away without plates.
Who was the best Beatle?
I mean, the Beatles are extremely overrated so it’s like would you rather get kicked in the balls, the arse or the face?
Ringo was a terrible drummer but had the personality of a Monkee, didn’t he?
George did “I Got My Mind Set On You”, which might be a cover but was one of my favourite songs as a kid and kids don’t care about authenticity.
McCartney is a berk, I hate the way he plays bass, and his post-Beatles material is generally as beige as a Weller album, though he does make me piss myself laughing with such weird shit as Band on the Run, Jet, Live and Let Die, Temporary Secretary and Listen to What the Man Says. Some of his Beatles stuff is okay, like Helter Skelter and… Erm.
Obviously, it’s John Lennon. I mean, it’s so obvious. His stuff had an edge to it, even though he was probably a bit of a prick, but in a different way to Macca, who is the “alrighty guys!” Radio 1 DJ to Lennon’s angry bastard who didn’t treat his family very well. But the good Beatles songs are pretty much all his.
That is the most I’ve ever thought about the Beatles. Actually, it might be George for I Got My Mind Set On You.